BOOK REVIEWS IN MAGAZINES, JOURNALS AND NEWSPAPERS: The Missing Friendship Bracelet

02/27/2016

BOOK REVIEWS IN MAGAZINES, JOURNALS AND NEWSPAPERS:
Dr. Elana Ashley’s English and English-Spanish editions of Case One: The Missing Friendship Bracelet

 

Review #1
Judge's Critique - Writer's Digest 11th Annual International Self-Published Book Awards:
Splunkunio Splunkey Detective and Peacemaker
Case One: The Missing Friendship Bracelet 

"Splunkunio Splunkey Detective and Peacemaker - what an original idea!  Using photography to illustrate this book was a brilliant concept, and the author/illustrator has done a fantastic job of bringing her main characters to life through her photographs.  Kids will love how Ellie, Eli, and Splunkey adorn the pages, acting out the story and solving the mystery of Ellie's lost bracelet.   I can remember seeing books like this at the public library when I was a child and wishing there were more that contained other types of art besides watercolors and colored pencil drawings.  It is so wonderful to see people take their skills and utilize them to create books for young readers.  The photography is super, and the creatures are really adorable.  I can only imagine the time and effort the author/photographer put into making this book a reality - quite impressive.  This book would definitely make a nice addition to any children's library, and I am sure will be getting giggles for years to come.  Very imaginative!"


Review #2
ForeWordreviews.com:
Splunkunio Splunkey Detective and Peacemaker  
Case One: The Missing Friendship Bracelet 

“When Ellie Elephant loses first her treasured friendship bracelet, then her best friend, over the ensuing upheaval, it’s up to Detective Splunkunio Splunkey to help Ellie put things right again. In this charming, bilingual book for children, author and photographer Dr. Elana Ashley has done a delightful job of bringing the story to life as she introduces young readers to the bright, joyful world she has created.

Detective Splunkey, a wildly colorful and imaginative, birdlike alien, appears to Ellie and her friend Eli to assist them in reenacting what happened in an effort to trace back where Ellie’s bracelet might have been lost. 

Children will learn values of trust (at one point, Ellie believes her friend might have stolen the bracelet], patience, logic and forgiveness, as the two pals work together through their grievances to retrieve the bracelet with a little assistance from the  strange-looking visitor from space.

Splunkey himself is a delightful conglomeration of wisdom, humor and sassiness that children will both enjoy and relate to, as he first calms, then guides the friends through the logical process that will lead to Ellie’s bracelet.  The story’s text is run concurrently in English and Spanish, making it easy to pick out and learn new words in either language.  Ethnic touches like Ellie’ bracelet, which is a colorful collection of tiny cloth dancers in traditional Mexican garb, adds visual, as well as cultural, interest.

The author’s photographs are enchantingly simple, with inherent, understated humor in every gesture of her puppets, from the first picture of Ellie mourning the loss of her bracelet and the fight with her friend, a box of tissues clutched in her paw, to the…photo as the two friends watch in wonder as Splunkey takes off for his next adventure.

…young readers will eagerly follow the adventures of Splunkunio Splunkey and hunger for future installments.” 


Review #3
The Bloomsbury Review, Children's & Young Adult Books:
Splunkunio Splunkey Detective and Peacemaker    

Splunkunio Splunkey Detective y pacificador
Case One: The Missing Friendship Bracelet
Caso primero: El brazalete de la amistad desaparecido

"Elana Ashley has created an excellent bilingual children's book. It's an interesting story for young children, from about four to eight. It's well illustrated, with appealing and colorful photographs. It teaches a lesson about friendship and understanding. And it works equally well in English and Spanish.

The simple plot involves a dispute between Ellie Elephant (Elefantita Ellie) and her friend Eli (Ilay) Lefant.  Ellie loses her friendship bracelet while playing in her house with Eli. When she assumes he's stolen it, he angrily stomps home.

Magically, Ellie gets a phone call...It's Splunkey, a mostly red, yellow and blue alien...With humor, understanding and patience, he [Splunkey] helps Ellie and Eli act out the events (some touching and some humorous) that happened before the bracelet was lost... In the end, they both learn something about cooperating to find the truth.

Along with this gentle lesson, children will enjoy the many colorful photographs...Kids will enjoy seeing the little elephants look through familiar household rooms for the lost bracelet.

Unlike some dual language books, this one is just as enjoyable in either language. Stefan V. Nikolov translates the few rhymes into perfectly rhymed Spanish. And he always finds the right Spanish idiom...Whether in English or in Spanish, young readers will be delighted with this book."


Review #4
The Midwest Book Review Small Press BookWatch,
The Children's Shelf:
Splunkunio Splunkey Detective and Peacemaker  

Splunkunio Splunkey Detective y pacificador
Case One: The Missing Friendship Bracelet
Caso primero: El brazalete de la amistad desaparecido

"The debut title of a bilingual (English/Spanish) picturebook mysteries series for young readers by author/photographer Elana Ashley, Splunkunio Splunkey: Detective And Peacemaker (Detective y pacificador) introduces a stuffed animal detective who is called upon to find out what has happened to a lost friendship bracelet. In carrying out his investigation, Splunkey helps two friends find more than just one very special bracelet. With a fun and engaging story text so very nicely illustrated by her photography, Elana Ashley's Splunkunio Splunkey: Detective And Peacemaker is especially recommended for family, school, and community library bilingual picture book collections for children who are preschool through second grade."

 

Review #5
The Times Record:
Splunkunio Splunkey Detective and Peacemaker
Case one: The M
issing Friendship Bracelet.

Elana Ashley, founder of the nonprofit educational corporation Great Imaginings Inc., is celebrating  two decades of instructional and entertaining programs with her latest children's mystery adventure, "Splunkunio Splunkey: Detective and Peacemaker - Case 1: The Missing Friendship Bracelet.'

The book begins on a sad note - Ellie Elephant is sobbing because she has lost her friendship bracelet and possibly her best friend.  She doesn't know what to do...

Written both in English and Spanish, the book has earned praise from numerous teachers and several organizations because of its value in teaching creativity and exploring educational values such as conflict resolution, character building, friendship and peace.

Ashley, a storyteller, singer and ventriloquist, photographed her puppets in various costumes and situations to illustrate the book.  While
the concept seems simplistic, the execution is creative and will prompt some young, less illustrative minds to find a creative outlet for their own imaginings.  After all, that is the reason for Great Imaginings..."
 

  

Review #6  
Kirkus Discoveries:
Splunkunio Splunkey Detective and Peacemaker  
Splunkunio Splunkey Detective y pacificador
Case One: The Missing Friendship Bracelet

Caso primero: El brazalete de la amistad desaparecido

“Simple, appealing photographs of puppets in a house illustrate the homespun tale about a lost bracelet and a fight between friends.
Ellie Elephant, who wears embroidered jeans and a dungaree cap, is heartbroken because her friendship bracelet is lost and her best friend Eli has gone home angry. Suddenly, her phone rings and a mysterious voice claiming to be ‘a detective and a  peacemaker’ offers help. She agrees, blinks her eyes three times and meets Splunkunio Splunkey, a tall (compared to puppet-size elephants), brightly colored alien.They call Eli, who’s still mad but agrees to come over and help retrace the steps that led to the disappearance of the bracelet.  Splunkey takes the two elephants through their activities from earlier that day: hide-and-seek, Eli getting stuck under a bed, the bracelet’s sudden disappearance and the yelling and accusations. Of course they find the bracelet and make up, but a plot that could be stale is freshened by the enjoyable photographs and Splunkey’s quirky diction (‘I need to scramdoodle ‘cause I’m in a time crunch’: ‘Then again, since this case was a piece of cake, how about giving me a piece of cake?’).  Each page features two vertical columns of text, one in English, and one in Spanish."

 

 

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